COVID-19 shut down various events this year, but it’s not preventing the annual St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce Summerfest from continuing.
The annual event is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 27, on Bridge Street.
Summerfest will proceed as normal albeit with lots of hand sanitizer and encouraging visitors to wear masks, said St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce Public Relations official Vicki Halcar.
“We would like to give them a choice — whether people want to come out or not,” she said. “At this point, we’ve been working with the health department. We’re doing what we can. For those that don’t feel they’re safe, we’re suggesting they stay home.”
No one will be forced to wear a mask, but Halcar says the chamber would encourage visitors to do so.
“We’d like them to do social distancing to be safe,” she said.
There will be hand sanitizer available throughout the event, and vendors are also being asked to provide such, Halcar said.
Halcar estimates that up to 3,000 people will attend the event.
Everything from bumper cars to crafts to face painting to food vendors will be available. One vendor, B.J. Berlin of Bj’s Bayou Cajun & Creole Restaurant in Roberts plans to bring his mobile restaurant with him again this year just as he has for the past seven years.
“It’s a great community event we like to support. All the people there support us,” said Berlin who also happens to be the mayor of Roberts.
Halcar says that every year Berlin draws a crowd to his mobile restaurant.
“There’s a line. You have to wait. I’ve been told his food is really good,” she said.
Berlin was relieved Summerfest would continue as so many other annual events have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. He looks forward to attending every year.
“It’s a fun small town community event,” he said.
St. Anthony Mayor Donald Powell said he enjoys the event that gives him a chance to catch up with residents he hasn’t seen in a while.
“It’s just being able to be out and meet people you haven’t seen for a while. It’s a chance to sample different things that are there,” he said.
Powell encouraged everyone to attend Summerfest but to take safety precautions.
“If people want to wear masks, they certainly can. Wipe down the table before you sit down to eat, and after you’re done eating, wipe the table down again. It’s kind of up to the individual, but if they feel comfortable coming out for the Summerfest, we’d certainly encourage them to,” Powell said.
For more information on the event call the St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce at 208-624-4870.